Hong Kong

Hong Kong, abbreviation: HK, is a metropolis and Special Administrative Region (SAR) on the south coast of the People's Republic of China in the Pearl River estuary. With more than seven million inhabitants on 1106 square kilometers and an important economic and financial sector, Hong Kong is one of the world cities. 95 percent of Hong Kong's residents are of Chinese descent with a predominantly Cantonese mother tongue.

Hong Kong was occupied by the United Kingdom during the First Opium War in 1841 and declared a British Crown Colony by the Treaty of Nanking in 1843. For many Chinese, the British colony was a place of refuge from the Chinese civil war from 1927 to 1949. In 1997, sovereignty was handed over to the People's Republic of China. Since then, Hong Kong has been a Chinese special administrative region, maintaining a free market economy and promised internal autonomy. This One Country, Two Systems principle was codified in the Hong Kong Joint Declaration. However, China is now being accused of increasingly breaking this promise and restricting the freedom of the Hong Kong people, which has repeatedly led to large-scale demonstrations, such as in 2014 and 2019/2020.

The most densely populated areas are the Kowloon Peninsula and northern Hong Kong Island, separated by the narrow Victoria Harbor strait. The New Territories include the original hinterland north of Kowloon, which makes up most of Hong Kong's territory, and most of Hong Kong's 263 islands. Hong Kong's largest island is Lantau Island, which is also close to Hong Kong International Airport on Chek Lap Kok Island.

Hong Kong's population growth and limited constructible area led to large-scale land reclamation through sea filling and the emergence of a skyline of skyscrapers. After the establishment of several planned cities in the second half of the 20th century, half of Hong Kong's population lives in the New Territories.

Hong Kong is considered one of the cities with the highest cost of living in the world. According to a Copenhagen advisory service (The Economist Intelligence Unit), Hong Kong is tied with Melbourne as the eighth safest city in the world (as of 2021).


Geography and climate

Hong Kong is located on the Pearl River Delta. Hong Kong's 1,090 km² area is divided into four areas: Hong Kong Island (79 km²), Kowloon (12 km²), New Territories (740 km²) and the Outer Islands (248 km²). The city is defined by the mountains at the foot of which it extends. The highest point is TaiMoShan (957 m) in the New Territories, Hong Kong Island's highest point is 'The Peak' (552 m).

Almost eight million people live in Hong Kong, mainly in Kowloon and north Hong Kong Island. The New Territories and the other islands are often sparsely populated and sometimes even not populated at all. 98 percent of Hong Kong's population is Chinese and only about 1 percent of residents are white. The main religions are Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. Christians make up almost 10 percent of the population in Hong Kong, with Anglicans and Catholics predominating. Islam is also represented, with a large mosque on Nathan Road at the level of Kowloon Park.

Hong Kong has a subtropical climate with humid and hot summers and dry and mild winters. The temperatures in January are 15 to 20 degrees and rise to an average of almost 30 degrees in the summer months. The high humidity may be particularly unusual, especially in the months of April to August. Values of 97% are not uncommon. From April to September, the monsoon brings large amounts of precipitation, mainly in the form of sudden downpours. Summer (July-September) is typhoon season, and during these hurricane-force storms there are sometimes curfews that should be adhered to. Hong Kong can be visited all year round, but the months of June to August can be quite strenuous in terms of climate. However, there is also plenty of shade and a fresh breeze.



Archaeological finds show that the area of present-day Hong Kong has been inhabited for 6,000 years. For a long time, however, there were only small settlements of fishermen on the site of today's metropolis, the most important city in the region was Canton (Guangzhou). Only with the arrival of the Europeans did Hong Kong become increasingly important. In the mid-16th century, the Portuguese were allowed to set up a base in Macau after repeatedly supporting Chinese merchant ships fighting pirates. However, apart from a few exceptions, foreigners were still prohibited from entering the Middle Kingdom.

When trade with the Portuguese also proved advantageous for China, the city of Canton was opened to free trade with European traders from 1685. The British East India Company was the first trading company to set up in Canton. The Chinese traded in silk and tea, while the English offered wool, tin and lead. With the quantity of English goods not sufficient to buy the quantities of tea they wanted, the English began importing opium from India into China in the mid-19th century. The effects of this policy were dramatic for China: Suddenly more and more money began to flow out of China in trade with England, the number of opium-addicted Chinese increased immensely and corruption was the order of the day in the trading establishments. As a countermeasure, all European trading houses were closed in 1839 and the opium was confiscated. England then sent an expeditionary army and it came to the First Opium War (1840-42). On January 26, 1841, Captain Charles Elliott officially took possession of the island of Hong Kong for the Crown. When the First Opium War ended with the Treaty of NanJing in 1842, Hong Kong remained in British hands and five Chinese ports were opened to free trade. Disputes over the negotiated peace treaty led to the outbreak of the Second Opium War (1856–58), from which the English also emerged victorious. The Kowloon Peninsula was added to the Hong Kong Colony.

At the end of the 19th century, the British took advantage of political instability in China and concluded a 99-year lease in June 1898 for the New Territories and the islands around Hong Kong. The sum of 5000 HKD was negotiated as a lease. In the period that followed, relations between Chinese and English traders, who were mutually dependent, relaxed. The colony's population grew steadily and Hong Kong also developed splendidly economically.

During the Second World War, Japan occupied southern China from 1938 and Hong Kong became the destination of around half a million war refugees. On December 8, 1941, one day after the attack on Pearl Harbour, the Japanese stormed Hong Kong. After 18 days, the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Mark Young, capitulated and the nearly four-year occupation of Hong Kong began. Today, an exhibition in the Museum of History commemorates the occupation, as a result of which the population was decimated by deportation and the harsh living conditions in the city.

After Japan's surrender in August 1945, the colony reverted to Great Britain. The population quickly grew again, not least because of the civil war in China (1945-1949). An American trade embargo against China and Korea (1950–53) slowed Hong Kong's development as a trading metropolis and led to the industrialization of the colony. In the 1970s, the strong industrial sectors of textiles and watches were supplemented by an expansion of the service sectors of banking and insurance, and Hong Kong's development into an international financial metropolis in Far East Asia was established. Industry increasingly migrated to neighboring Chinese areas (e.g. ShenZen) and tourism became the second major economic pillar alongside the financial services sector.

In 1984, Margaret Thatcher's British government negotiated the Sino-British Joint Declaration, in which Britain and China negotiated the return of Hong Kong. Although Hong Kong Island and Kowloon were not part of the lease agreement, the various areas of Hong Kong had long since grown together to such an extent that a separate handover of the New Territories was out of the question. Important points such as Hong Kong's 50-year status as a Special Administrative Region (SAR), the accompanying maintenance of the economic and legal system and the guarantee of fundamental rights such as freedom of the press, travel and occupation were laid down in the Joint Declaration. Hong Kong was handed back to China in a grand ceremony on July 1, 1997, but little has changed in many areas of everyday life since then. However, freedom of the press is being restricted and the free elections scheduled for 2007 have been banned.



Kowloon was once the most densely populated place on earth and is still the most densely populated part of Hong Kong today. The fact that Kowloon does not (yet) have such an impressive skyline as the side across from the harbor is due to the fact that until a few years ago the airport was in the middle of Kowloon at the harbor and made it impossible to build high-rise buildings. Kowloon is best known for its street markets and small shops selling everything from cheap tailored suits to expensive Rolexes.
Mong Kok – Mong Kok is located north of Tsim Sha Tsui around the MTR station of the same name. The area is known for its markets and, for Hong Kong's Chinese residents, for its nightlife, which is slightly cheaper than across the harbor.
Tsim Sha Tsui - The tip of the Kowloon Peninsula offers fantastic views across the harbor to the skyline. Tsim Sha Tsui is best known for tourist shopping, tailored suits and fake Rolex watches.

Hong Kong Iceland
The island was the nucleus of the former British colony that grew around the city of Victoria. The skyline of the districts facing Victoria Harbor is considered one of the most beautiful in the world and it continues to grow. The tallest building is currently the IFC2 Tower with 86 floors in the Central district. On the south side of Hong Kong Island are a few beaches and scattered satellite cities like Stanley and Aberdeen. Hong Kong Island is surmounted by a number of mountains, of which Victoria Peak - today mostly just called The Peak - towers over the skyline and offers a fantastic view over Victoria Harbour.

New Territories
These are the mainland areas that, along with Kowloon and the surrounding islands, were added to the British colony towards the end of the 19th century. These areas provide an amazing contrast to the hectic city of Hong Kong and in some parts appear very rural. Important places are Sha Tin and Tai Po.

Outlying Islands
That's the name of all the large and small islands scattered around the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island. By far the largest island is Lantau, which has the airport and is connected to the metro system. The island is rich in destinations such as the newly opened Disneyland theme park and the world's largest free-standing Buddha statue. The car-free island of Lamma is in close proximity to Hong Kong Island and is popular for its good seafood and pretty little beaches, but the island is also home to a large, unsightly coal-fired power station.


Getting here

Entry requirements

EU citizens of the Schengen countries and Swiss citizens can visit Hong Kong without a visa for up to three months (90 days). For a longer stay, you either have to apply for a work visa or you have to leave Hong Kong temporarily (a day trip is enough), for example to Macau or Shenzhen. On arrival, an entry form (Arrival Card) will be issued on the plane or boat, which you should definitely keep safe, as you also have to present the form when you leave the country. Recently, an entry stamp is no longer placed in the passport, but the traveler receives a small computer printout with the same information that was previously found on the stamp. This note should also be kept safe, but it will not be retained when you leave the country. If this entry slip is lost, a replacement can be obtained from Immigration Headquarters (7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai). Holders of a German passport that is still valid for at least 6 months can register for the electronic border control free of charge after immigration control at the airport (duration approx. 5 minutes, a signature must be provided, a photo and the fingerprints of both index fingers are also required recorded). For future visits within the validity period of the passport, the automated border control machines ("E-Gates") can then be used for both entry and exit, which can save a considerable amount of time depending on the time of day. In addition, it will no longer be necessary to fill out an arrival form ("Landing Card") for future entries.

Basic customs controls do not take place, but are always possible. Duty free: 19 cigarettes or 1 cigar (25g); 1 liter of wine. Other goods in reasonable quantities. Firearms must be declared and taken into custody upon entry. Foreign exchange and HKD can be imported and exported indefinitely.


By plane

Practically all major airlines (e.g. Swiss, Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Gulf Air, Singapore Airlines, China Airlines) fly to Hong Kong from Switzerland or Germany. There are direct flights from Frankfurt am Main, Zurich and Munich and take around 12 hours. The prices for a return ticket range from 500 to 1000 euros. The tickets are most expensive in the summer holidays and around Christmas/New Year's Eve.

Chek Lap Kok Airport is located in Hong Kong outside of the city on Lan Tau Island. This is connected to the city by a large bridge. If you don't have accommodation yet, we recommend the reservation desk for hotels in the entrance hall, which often offers rooms at very good conditions. There are several ways to get from the airport to the city. It is probably advisable to buy an Octopus card directly at the airport (see mobility). The Airport Express (AE, 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.) is certainly the fastest option. For 100 HKD (110 HKD) you can be in Kowloon (Hong Kong station) in 20 minutes (24 minutes). For Octopus cardholders, an MTR journey following the Airport Express journey is free of charge, but there must still be sufficient credit (including the credit limit granted) on the card (this is especially important for a journey to Hong Kong train station, which is the basic balance of the Octopus Card already overdrawn). A taxi ride costs approximately 300 HKD to Kowloon and 350 HKD to Hong Kong Island. The different colors of the taxis represent the areas they serve. Red cabs serve the city (green cabs to the New Territories and blue cabs to Lan Tau). There are also various buses to and from the airport. These are identified by a preceding "A".


Train and bus

There are bus and train connections to Hong Kong from Guangzhou and other places in China. However, at the border you have to get out with your luggage and go through the controls on foot. On the other side you get back in and drive on.

Bullet train connecting Guanghzhou-South connects West Kowloon Terminal in Hong Kong. It stops at six intermediate stations, including in Shenzhen at the local North Station (22° 36′ 37″ N 114° 1′ 49″ E) (深圳北站). The border control for entering the People's Republic takes place in Kowloon. Prices (2018) Shenzhen HK$86, Guangzhou HK$247 and Beijing HK$1237.

In the street
From Lantau you can drive to Macau and Zhuhai on the 6-lane, longest "bridge" in the world, of which 6.7 kilometers are built as a tunnel. However, there is right-hand traffic on it, and vehicles registered in Hong Kong require a special license plate. Buses run 24 hours a day.


Ship and helicopter

There is a ferry connection with Macau. Depending on how much you want to pay and how much time you have, there are different offers. Also by helicopter.

There are two ferry terminals from Hong Kong to Macau, one in Central and one in Kowloon. The ferries run 24 hours a day and every 15 to 20 minutes. The journey time is approximately one hour. The check-in is very efficient. Normally you buy a ticket at the terminal, immediately go through passport control and board the next ship. Waiting times can only occur on weekends. There are booking options for hotels in Macau at the terminals.

The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal for cruise ships was built on the site of the old airport. It is approximately 10 km from the Star Ferry Pier.


Getting around

Octopus Card and Tourist Day Pass
It doesn't matter whether you travel by bus, MTR (subway), Airport Express, tram or ship, you can pay with the Octopus card everywhere. This card is sold, among other things, at the airport (at counters between customs control and the exit as well as at machines next to the entrances to the Airport Express) for 200 HKD. 150 HKD credit and 50 HKD deposit. The card can be topped up e.g. At each MTR station, at ATMs that accept HKD 50 and HKD 100 bills and at service counters. You can also have money booked in many of the local chain cafés and mini markets, which is particularly useful if you don’t have the right banknotes available. The maximum balance is 1000 HKD.

The advantage of the card is that a certain amount can always be automatically debited at a station when entering or exiting a vehicle and you don't have to worry about tickets or small change. In addition, there is a 10% discount on every second MTR journey made on the same day, and senior Octopus cardholders (aged 65 and over) receive additional perks such as reduced fares and free journeys on the MTR Star Ferry. In the meantime, you can sometimes also pay with the Octopus card outside of public transport, e.g. B. at the 7-Eleven markets, all coffee house chains or in some McDonalds restaurants.

If the balance on the Octopus card is no longer sufficient when paying (usually at the platform barriers at the destination station) to pay for the journey in full, the card will automatically be overdrawn up to the amount of the deposit paid (50 HKD). With an overdrawn Octopus card, however, it is no longer possible to pass the platform barriers when entering a station, the card then has to be recharged first.

Unused credit will be refunded upon return. If the card is returned within 3 months of issuance, a fee of HK$9 will be retained. Those who take the Airport Express to the airport can return the card at the service counter directly on the train's Terminal 1 platform.

An alternative is the "Tourist Day Pass", which can be bought at the MTR stations at the counter. It is a 24-hour card, valid from first use. For HK$65, the ticket allows unlimited travel on MTR lines. Excludes travel on the Airport Express and to Lo Wu / Lok Ma Chau (Mainland China border) stations. Also buses are not included.

By train
The regional trains of the KCR were an addition to the MTR and have also belonged to the MTR Cooperation since 2007. It can also be paid with the Octopus card. They drive on several lines to the border near Shenzhen. With their regular departures, low prices and mostly underground routes, they are more reminiscent of an underground railway.

Trains run from the main station HungHom to Chinese metropolises such as Guangzhou, Beijing or Shanghai, the new high-speed train station "Kowloon West" connects Shenzhen and Guangzhou via high-speed rail.

Hong Kong has one of the most modern mass transit systems in the world. Hong Kong's underground has five different routes, with the MTR operating from 6am to 1am. At peak times, the trains run every 2 minutes, otherwise every 4 minutes. Fares start from 4 HKD. Crossing the harbor basin generally costs 9 HKD.

If you don't want to travel with an Octopus Card, you can buy single tickets from machines. The MTR network is shown on the machine and you only touch the station you want to go to. The fare is then paid in cash and the card is removed; the machines give change. In contrast to the Octopus Card, which opens the barriers to the MTR with “touch and go”, the single-ride card has to be inserted manually into a slot and removed again after crossing the barrier. If you leave the MTR, the single-ride ticket will be retained by the reader.

The MTR stations are basically built on two floors and have a very good traffic management. From the surface, you first go to a mezzanine floor, where there are a number of small shops in addition to service counters. The barriers are on the mezzanine level and behind the barriers is the underground level where the tracks are located. Pedestrian flows are directed in such a way that arriving and departing passengers only meet on the platform directly at the MTR doors.

The announcements in the MTR are basically trilingual (Mandarin, Cantonese and English), labels are always bilingual (Chinese, English). An animated display of the route shows line, direction of travel, next station and exit side.

Eating and drinking is not permitted in the MTR, and there is also a strict smoking ban. There are no toilets in the MTR stations. The metro is very clean, there is no pushing and old people are given a seat when they enter.

Airport Express
When the airport was relocated from the city center around 46 kilometers out of the city, a new connection was also needed. The Airport Express is much faster than the MTR, taking 23 minutes to travel between the airport and Central Station. The route passes through Tsing Yi and Kowloon Station. A one-time trip costs 110 HKD for the route Central Station - Airport (100 HKD from Kowloon Station, 65 HKD from Tsing Yi Station, as of June 2019), but only if you pay with the Octopus card. Single tickets are generally 5 HKD more expensive. The preceding or subsequent MTR ride is free of charge. There is also an option to purchase a round-trip ticket (Central Station: HKD 205, Kowloon Station HKD 185, Tsing Yi HKD 120). The AirportExpress runs between 5:50 a.m. and 1:15 a.m.

If you have a ticket for the Airport Express, you can use the free in-town check-in. All major airlines have check-in counters at both Central and Kowloon Station where luggage can be checked in hours before departure. This is particularly useful if you have to leave the hotel early but the plane doesn't leave until later, or if you want to stroll around Hong Kong. Check-in counters are open from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

It should be noted, however, that if you arrive at the Airport Express with one of the MTR lines that run via Hong Kong Island to the Central station, there is a considerable distance between the MTR station and the in-town check-in or the Airport Express train station must travel underground, passing under the International Finance Centre. This route, which is entirely within the ticketed area, can be very busy, especially at peak times, which is why you may not be able to use any of the existing moving walkways, but have to carry your luggage over the entire distance.

The Airport Express also offers a connection to the AsiaWorld-Expo site.

MTR Light Rail
The Light Rail is a tram system in Hong Kong, which is also operated by the MTR company. It extends in the western New Territories from Yuen Long to Tuen Mun. For journeys with the Light Rail, it is definitely advisable to use the Octopus card, as otherwise you have to deal with paper tickets and a zone tariff model. When using the Octopus card, billing is carried out automatically in the same way as for the MTR, depending on the start and destination stop. There are 2 different octopus readers on the platforms of the Lightrail. The orange devices (Entry Fare Processor) for noting the starting stop on the Octopus map and the green devices (Exit Fare Processor) for checking out and calculating the fare. Since there is no sealed off station area like the MTR, which can only be entered with a valid ticket, there are sporadic ticket/octopus checks on the Light Rail lines.



The tram costs HK$2.30, making it the cheapest mode of transport along with the Star Ferry. The price remains the same whether you only travel to one station or to the final stop. You get in at the back and when you get out you pay the driver either in cash or with the Octopus Card.

The wagons are not very high. If you are over 180 cm tall, you should only board if you have a seat view. It is customary to simply let a full tram pass and take the next one.

The names of the stations are readable from both the upper deck and the lower deck. In general, it is more pleasant and clearer for the tourist to drive on the upper deck.

The tram runs from Kennedy Town in the west to Happy Valley (to the racecourse) or Shau Kei Wan in the east. It is one of the few double-decker trams still in use in the world. A tram ride, especially on the upper deck, is a must on any Hong Kong visit. You can e.g. For example, hop on anywhere in Central and then drive to Happy Valley or Northpoint and see part of the city that way. The trains that run via the Happy Valley loop (lines 4 and 5) continue in the original direction after a short stop at the terminus behind the racetrack. A tram going from Western Market to Happy Valley will then continue to North Point and vice versa.


By bus

Hong Kong has a well-developed bus network with stops on almost every corner. If you don't want to use the Airport Express for the transfer from/to the airport, you can use the double-decker line A 21. A 21 goes direct to Kowloon and offers better views than the train. In contrast to e.g. B. to the tram not when getting off, but already when boarding. However, it should be noted that the fare is always calculated from the boarding point to the final stop of the line, even if you only travel one stop. The best case is the journey from the penultimate to the last stop on the line, the most expensive variant is boarding at the starting stop and getting off at the second stop on the line. However, since the bus fares are also very cheap in a European comparison, this is of little consequence.

It should also be noted that at stops where several bus lines stop, there are sometimes several queues for the different bus lines. These are usually marked by dashes on the ground along with the line numbers.

In the street
Driving in Hong Kong is not easy and very expensive for those unfamiliar with the area. Parking spaces in particular are a rarity on Hong Kong Island and the opposite side of the port. No wonder traffic consists almost entirely of buses, taxis, vans and expensive luxury vehicles. Three tunnels pass under the harbor and charge: Eastern Harbor Crossing, Cross Harbor Tunnel and Western Harbor Crossing.



Hong Kong's taxis are very cheap compared to European metropolises. The first two kilometers cost 24 HKD, then 1.50 HKD per 200 meters. Prices in taxis are usually rounded up to the nearest HKD, with baggage surcharges (5 HKD per piece of luggage transported in the trunk) and the tunnel toll for crossing under the harbor basin (55 HKD) being paid by the passenger in addition.

A special feature is that taxis are only allowed to pick up passengers in certain areas of the city, but are then allowed to go anywhere. Red cabs operate on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, blue cabs on Lan Tau and green cabs in the New Territories. For a journey through one of the port tunnels, the drivers charge a surcharge of 10 HKD in addition to the actual toll, since they have to return empty. At so-called cross-harbour taxi ranks, you only pay the tunnel fee once.

Not every driver understands destination information in English. You are then either connected to the control center by radio and can enter your destination there, or you have to try the next taxi. It makes sense to get the address in Chinese from the hotel porter, as a business card or on a piece of paper.


By boat

Not as fast, but definitely nicer, is crossing the harbor in a boat. The Star Ferry has long become an icon of the Hong Kong port. The connection between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central is particularly impressive. The price for this route is 2.50 HKD for the lower deck and 3.00 HKD for the upper deck. The ferries run every 10 minutes from half past six in the morning to half past eleven in the evening. Ferry services across the port operate from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central and Wan Chai, from Hung Hom to Central, Wan Chai and North Point, and from Kwun Tong to North Point.

In addition to port crossings, ferries mainly connect Hong Kong with the offshore islands. The main branch is the Outlying Islands Ferry Pier, just west of the Star Ferry Pier in Central. The outlying islands are usually approached every 20 to 30 minutes, with both fast ferries (catamarans) and "regular" ferries with the option of transporting bulky goods. The latter can be recognized by a blue marking on the timetables and are slightly cheaper, whereby you can choose between first (upper deck, air-conditioned) and second (main and lower deck, not air-conditioned) class. Passengers who wish to use first class must select a separate turnstile at the port of departure and will receive a voucher that entitles them to enter the first class area. It is not possible to redeem the surcharge on board. A trip from Central to Cheung Chau or Mui Wo (Lantau) costs about 23 HDK (regular ferry, second class, weekdays) and 33 HKD (fast ferry, Sundays), depending on whether it is a weekday or a weekend.

Payment can be made in cash, by purchasing tokens and with the Octopus Card. Tokens are purchased from vending machines, typically tokens are only used by tourists.

Other entry options from China are CKS Ferries (Chu Kong Shipping Enterprises) from mainland China. From Zhongshan Passenger Port you can drive directly to the airport and check in at the port or take a second ferry directly to Hong Kong City (very centrally located at the China Ferry Terminal). The crossing cost 185 HKD in Nov. 2019.


By bicycle

Trying to get around Hong Kong by bike is a bad idea. The high temperatures and, above all, high humidity make cycling very difficult. In addition, almost all of Hong Kong is not only hilly, but mountainous. Left-hand traffic is unfamiliar to continental Europeans. Motor vehicles are not used to being confronted with bicycles, and cycle paths are virtually non-existent.




Lan Tau Island (天坛大佛, Tian Tan Buddha). Lan Tau Island's temple grounds are centered around one of the largest Buddha statues in East Asia. If you go up the stairs, you can climb further up and have a nice view of the surroundings. There is a vegetarian restaurant in the temple.
Wong Tai Sin Temple (黃大仙祠). One of the larger temple complexes in Hong Kong and one of the main tourist attractions is the Wong Tai Sin Temple. The Taoist temple dedicated to the great Wong is best known for its divination. In front of the main hall of the temple you will see many people who predict the future with the oracle sticks and then go to one of the many fortune tellers. If you want, you can try it out, some of the fortune tellers also speak English. In the back of the temple there is a quiet garden, where there are no tourist groups. Small pavilions and a nine-dragon wall are located here. MTR Wong Tai Sin.



From August 1, 2016, admission to the following museums will be free: Hong Kong Museum of History, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, and Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum.

Hong Kong Museum of History (香港歷史博物館). Hong Kong Museum of History and the adjacent Science Museum are described under Kowloon.
Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware (茶具文物館). The Museum of Teaware is located in Hong Kong's oldest foreign building, in Hong Kong Park. The house, built in 1844, housed the commander of the British armed forces until 1978. Since 1984, it has housed an exhibition of traditional and modern teaware and the history of tea culture in China. MTR Admiralty. Price: Admission is free.
Lei Cheng Uk Museum (李鄭屋漢墓博物館)
Museum of Art (香港藝術館)
Space Museum
Hong Kong Heritage Museum, 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin, Hong Kong. Tel.: +852 2180 8188. Blue line MTR to Che Kung Temple, from there approx. minutes via the pedestrian bridge or possibly via the traffic bridge, large building. Permanent exhibition and other changing exhibitions.



The Peak (太平山, formerly Victoria Peak). Hong Kong's local mountain opens up a unique view of the metropolis. The ride on the Peak Tram, which has connected the Peak with the lower-lying parts of the city since 1885, is already attractive. From the Peak Tower, where the tram ends, and from the shopping mall next door, you can already enjoy a great view of the city. If you have some time, you should not miss to walk a few steps on Lugard Road. After about 10-15 minutes there is a spectacular panorama that shows the city from a different perspective than from the Peak Tower. You can continue along Lugard Road and circle the Peak (takes about an hour). The return journey is then via Harlech Road. The actual summit of the peak is a half-hour walk from the tram station. To get to the summit, follow Mt. Austin Road. This walk is particularly worthwhile because of the Peak Garden, a beautifully landscaped garden with a fabulous view. There may be long waits at Peak Tram stations at certain times; it is advisable to start the journey in the early afternoon. Unfortunately, it is now no longer possible for users of an Octopus card to skip the queue at the checkout. However, you can buy tickets to the wax museum at the Peak Tram valley station - these then allow you to use a fast lane past the general queues. Peak Tram from Admiralty: HKD 88 return, between 7am and midnight every 10-15 minutes. If you want to avoid the often one to two hour tram wait, you can take the 15 bus from Exchange Square in Central, 9.20 HKD one way.
Ocean Park Hong Kong (香港海洋公園) . The Ocean Park Hong Kong is not only a nice way for families with children to spend a quiet day in Hong Kong. In addition to several rides, restaurants, a sea lion and dolphin show, the giant pandas are the attraction of the park. Several of them live here in large enclosures. There are also their relatives, the red pandas, pygmy otters and fish to admire. A cable car and the "submarine" Nautilus, a train that appears to travel under water, connect the two parts of the park at the base and at the top of a mountain. Black kites use the thermals here and circle above the visitors and sometimes under the gondolas of the cable car.
Victoria Harbor (維多利亞港) . The port between the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong. Covering an area of approximately 41.88 km² in 2004, its natural depth and sheltered position enticed the British to occupy Hong Kong Island during the First Opium War to set up a trading post colony. The port is famous for its great panoramic views and is a top tourist attraction. It is a landmark in the area and is considered a key natural geographic element by city dwellers. The importance of the landmark to the territory has been clearly demonstrated in recent years when the government has sought to undertake redevelopment projects in the port. The projects provoked violent protests, although the projects are said to have provided jobs for the last half century and more.
Boardwalk (skyline). The star here is not the stars and asterisks that have immortalized themselves in the cement slabs of the Avenue of Stars behind the Hong Kong Cultural Center, but the Hong Kong Iceland skyline. Whether in broad daylight or illuminated at night, the promenade is always worth a visit and is a highlight of Hong Kong's tourist attractions. The skyline is particularly impressive at sunset, bathed in evening sunlight. A tripod is definitely recommended in the evenings and at night. MTR Station: Tsim Sha Tsui.
Nian Lian Garden (南蓮園池). Right next to the Diamond Hill MTR station you will find this beautiful garden. The place is relatively quiet on weekdays and there are hardly any tourists. The park is laid out in the traditional Chinese style and, in addition to various small pavilions, has a lake and a waterfall. In addition, there is a building for exhibitions in the park, which cost admission, a vegetarian restaurant, a souvenir shop and a hall for tea ceremonies that can be rented. Directly opposite the park is the Chi Lin Nunnery, which houses a Tang Dynasty-style temple.
Kowloon Walled City Park (九龍寨城公園) . A place of particular historical importance is the Kowloon Walled City Park. The former Kowloon Fortress was located on the territory of the park. After Hong Kong Island fell to the British, the fort built in 1810 was strengthened by the Qing government. After the New Territories had also become British, the fort was evacuated by the British, even though it was Chinese territory, and left to its own devices. During the Japanese occupation, the fortress was dismantled to get building materials for the nearby Kai Tak airfield. After the Japanese left, the area, which was still officially part of China, became a lawless slum. Building was done without any rules, the streets housed illegal shops and doctors and were the retreat of the triads. Since Hong Kong had no legal authority over the area, a decision was made along with China in 1987 to demolish the slums, which ended in 1994. Today, the area is a classic Chinese-style park. In the only original house of the former fortress, the Yamen, there is an interactive exhibition about the life of the people in the former slums. The remains of the fortress found during excavations as well as various historical pictures are exhibited throughout the park. Tung Tau Tsuen Rd., MRT Lok Fu then 15 min walk.

The most famous mouse in the world and her friends can be seen at Disneyland Hong Kong on Lan Tau Island.
In the 9 sky100 you are almost as high as on the Viktoria Peak. From here you have a good all-round view of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. If you want to go even higher, you should dress reasonably neatly and drive up to the Ozone Bar. There is usually no entrance fee. The drink prices are higher than in most bars in Hong Kong, but if you just order a beer or soft drink, you get it even cheaper than if you pay for the sky100. The view is limited to Kowloon.


What to do

Hike. As strange as that may sound, Hong Kong is a hiker's paradise. Whether MacLehose on Hong Kong Island or a hike to the beautiful Tai Long Wan Beach near SaiKung, where you can only get there on foot, the network of paths is well developed and partly leads through untouched nature.



Hong Kong is a shopper's paradise, especially for cameras, electronics and fashion. In addition to the shopping centers, there are also large department stores, small boutiques and street markets. If you want to go on a big shopping spree, you can start from the MRT stations Kowloon Central or Causeway Bay, for example.

However, electronics are no longer available at the bargain price they were years ago. The selection is not necessarily greater than in a German electronics store or specialist shop. In order to buy reasonably cheaply, you would have to spend a lot of time. An example: In November 2012, a tablet computer was to be purchased, which at that time was available by mail order in Germany from €208 (including tax). Six store offers in different parts of the city were compared, and finally a device was purchased for around €200, which required user interface and keyboard to be switched to German, which had no Euro plug and only 8 GB instead of 16 GB (as is usual in German offers). and only had a one-year Hong Kong guarantee (instead of 2 years worldwide). The 3G version could only have been operated with a Hong Kong SIM card. But you only find out these differences if you ask about them. Anyone who buys electronics here must therefore obtain detailed information in advance.

Camera technology is hardly cheaper than in Europe. Be careful with unfamiliar brands of lenses or flash units. Wide-angle or telephoto attachments for lenses are often offered, but the optical quality is very modest. Branded goods are available, but rarely really cheap. With products from Hong Kong (e.g. Nissin flash units) you can get good bargains, they are significantly cheaper than at Amazon. Small spare parts such as lens caps or UV filters are often significantly more expensive than in Germany.

Cameras are hardly cheaper than in Europe, as are branded lenses in the lower and middle price categories. However, high-quality lenses can be purchased much cheaper than in Germany. Bargaining about the price is possible in brand shops, but hardly promising for high-quality goods. The wide-angle attachments mentioned are initially offered for the equivalent of 300 euros, despite clear disinterest, the price is reduced to 80 euros by the time you leave the shop. A 77 lens cap for Nikon (not from Nikon), however, cost 16 euros in 2013, no bargaining possible.

Shopping centers/shopping malls
Times Square, MTR Causeway Bay, Times Square exit. Large and elegant mall with many mid-priced shops and boutiques. The top floor is home to one of Hong Kong's largest bookstores (Page One).
Sogo, MTR Causeway Bay, Sogo exit. Japanese department store in Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Shui. All sorts of everyday objects and textiles can be found on nine floors.
Wan Chai Computer Center, MTR Wan Chai. Although technical accessories are often not cheaper than in Europe, buying them in Hong Kong can still be worthwhile, as some products are on the market earlier in Asia. In the Wan Chai Computer Center there are countless small computer and electronics shops that are cheaper than the counterparts on Nathan Road, which are overpriced for tourism.
Harbor City, Canton Road, MTR Tsim Sha Tsui, or by Star Ferry. Huge shopping center in Tsim Sha Tsui
Pacific Place
Festival Walk
Landmark, Pedder Street, MTR Central. The shopping mall in Central specializes in the upper price segment. Almost all important designers have their branches here: Gucci, Dior, Fendi, Vuitton, etc.
Wing Shing Photo Supplies Co. Ltd., Mongkok Kowloon, - MTR Mongkok. A reputable good photo shop with fixed, low prices and a very good selection.

welcome Inexpensive supermarket chain, available almost everywhere.
Park'n'Shop. Inexpensive supermarket chain, available almost everywhere.
City great. Expensive supermarket with lots of Japanese and European products.
Great, Admiralty MTR Station, Pacific Place exit. Expensive supermarket with lots of Japanese and European products, fresh sushi, juices.

Street markets
Ladies' Market, Tung Choi Street, MTR Mongkok. One of the largest street markets selling mainly clothing but also souvenirs, household items and CDs. The market starts around noon and lasts until the evening.
Flower Market. flower market.
Goldfish Market, Tung Choi Street, MTR Prince Edward. A whole street with an incredible number of fish and accessories.
Bird's Market. Besides ornamental fish, birds are the most popular pets in narrow Hong Kong. A wide range of different ornamental birds can be found at the Birds Market. Prince Edward MTR Station, exit “Mong Kok Police Station.” Walk east on Prince Edward Road West to Yuen Po Street Bird Garden.
Jade Market, on Kansu Street. MTR Jordan or Yau Ma Tei. Open: daily 10.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.
Lanes in Central, Li Yuen Street East and Li Yuen Street West, between Des Veux Road Central and Queens Road Central, near the Escalator. Here you can buy bags, belts, Chinese dresses, fabrics, watches, etc.
Cat Street, off Hollywood Road across from Ma On Temple. Here you can find Chinese porcelain, wooden necklaces, Mao souvenirs and lots of odds and ends, which are ideal as souvenirs.
Argyle Center. Shopping center for young, affordable fashion. Lots of small shops and almost always incredibly busy, but doesn't open until around 12 noon. MTR Station Mong Kok Take exit "Argyle Centre".
Temple Street Night Market. Certainly the most touristic market in Hong Kong. The stalls are already set up from midday, but it only really fills up when it gets dark. Ideal for buying souvenirs and gifts. MTR Jordan, follow Jordan Street west and turn left onto Woo Sung Street.

label shops
Shop 402, 4/F, Old Wing Sogo Department Store, Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay. Phone: +852 2895-5668.
Shop G33 & G34, Park Lane Shopper's Boulevard, 145 Nathan Rd. Tel: +852 2377-9660.
Shop 36 & 40, Manning House, 48 Queen's Road Central. Phone: +852 2526-7620.
Store 2612, Level 2, Gateway Arcade, Harbor City TST. Phone: +852 2895-5912.

Tommy Hilfiger
Store OT 302, Level 3, Ocean Terminal, Harbor City, Kowloon.
Shop 2615-16, 2/F., Harbor City, Kowloon. Tommy Jeans & Girl.
Shop SK 312, B3 Hong Kong Seibu, The Kowloon Hotel TST, Kowloon.
Shop SK 202, B2 Hong Kong Seibu, The Kowloon Hotel TST, Kowloon.
Shop 104A, Level 1, Hong Kong Seibu, Parcific Place. Tommy Jeans & Girl.
Unit LG1-09, Festival Walk, 80 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon.
Shop B19, 1st Baseman Floor, The Landmark, Cental.
Shop 210B, Level 2, Hong Kong Seibu, Parcific Place.
Shop 317, 3/F., Time Square, Causeway Bay.
Store 5-04, 5/F, Jumbo Sogo, Causeway Bay.
Store 3-05, 3/F, Jumbo Sogo, Causeway Bay. Tommy Jeans & Girl.
Shop 274, 2/f., Cityplaza, Taikoo Shing. edit info
Shop 381, Level 3, Phase 1, New Town Plaza, Shatin, New Territories.
Shop SL228, Level 2, Hong Kong Seibu, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Kowloon. Tommy Jeans & Girl.
Shop SE136-137, Level 1, Hong Kong Seibu, Parcific Place. Tommy Kids.

Ok service
Frontside LTD, 8/F, Sands Building, 17 Hankow Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Phone: +852 2792-0353.



There are many cheap restaurants in Hong Kong, but in the higher price ranges there is almost no upper limit, especially when it comes to European food. Traditional Cantonese cuisine takes some getting used to because of its spices. You can try these in the many small street bars in the evening, especially in Kowloon. Canton ducks and shumai are well-known and quite tasty. Chinese food is also available in many small restaurants. If you don't like that, you can choose something from any kitchen in the world.

Fast food lovers will find McDonalds, Mos Burger and KFC on every corner and even Bubba Shrimp on the Peak. The Café de Coral chain, which serves Chinese food at an unbeatably low price, offers somewhat better fast food. Because of the many Filipino guest workers, Jollibee is also represented in the MTR Central Station.
Tip: Café One has an unbeatable buffet every evening (MTR Causeway Bay, 310 Gloucester Rd., in the Park Lane Hotel building). If you've always wanted to fill up on lobster, crab, shrimp, sashimi and delicacies from all regions of Asia, you can do so here. In addition, you can enjoy a great view over Victoria Park. For the equivalent of EUR 40 per person, you get something here that is unparalleled in Hong Kong. Due to the high rush and the low price, prior reservation is mandatory (cafeone@parklane.com.hk).

There is an almost unbelievable range of seafood in the village Lei Yue Mun Seafood District. Here, dozens of smaller restaurants are lined up along the harbor basin and offer practically everything to eat that wriggles in the sea. The size of the lobster, fish and shrimp is probably unmatched anywhere in the world. The displays are a feast for the senses, even for those who don't want to eat there. Yau Tong MRT station, walk right ahead through the bus terminal and walk down about 10 mins to the left side of the port.

For those who love it sweet: You should definitely try the coconut milk, which is offered in various places, especially in Kowloon. Fresh coconut is mashed with milk and syrup and served on ice. Fresh fruit can also be added for flavor if desired. For ice cream lovers, we recommend the unassuming Gourmet Dessert Cafe in Yau Ma Tei, just off MTR Exit C. There is everything from flambéed ice cream to water ice cream with red beans and herb jelly. Gourmet Dessert Cafe
If you want to have breakfast 24 hours a day, the Flying Pan (G/F 9 Old Bailey Street, Central, Hong Kong) is an excellent place to do so, diagonally across from the old prison. The store is open 24 hours / 7 days a week. In addition, the prices are moderate and there are z. B. Egg dishes in all variations (tip: the omelette "The Kitchen Sink").

One restaurant largely unnoticed by tourists is in Kowloon, just behind the Chungking Mansions. Even if you stand directly in front of it, you don't immediately notice that you are in front of a busy restaurant. It is very busy all day long, often with entire families. You are "placed" like in the GDR. There is a menu with large colored pictures, without which it would be difficult to order anything. Few staff speak broken English, but gestures are fine. The food is brought to the table by the respective chef, you will be asked if that is correct, and you will explain something in Chinese. Drinks are included. payment is made at the exit, usually by credit card. A very sumptuous menu with all the trimmings cost the equivalent of 21 euros for two in the summer of 2013.


Night life

Lan Kwai Fong. Very popular nightlife spot for Europeans near Central MTR station. A street lined with many small pubs and clubs, the real life is on the traffic-free streets, especially at the top of D'Aguilar Street. Hundreds of night owls meet there every weekend. A classic is a photo in front of the Lan Kwai Fong street sign.
Wan Chai

The Red Light District on Hong Kong Island. But there are also many normal pubs here - from classic Irish pubs to pubs with permanent live bands. The focal point of the district is Lockhart Road and Jaffe Road between the two MTR stations Wan Chai and Admiralty.
Beer Garden, 5 Hanoi Road Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong. German bar.
Bit Point, 31 D'Aguilar Street Central Hong Kong. German beers galore, G/F.
ICC/The Ritz-Carlton, 1 Austin Rd W, Hong Kong.

If you have deeper pockets, we recommend a visit to the bar at the Ritz Carlton in the ICC. The Ozone advertises that it is the highest bar in the world. The prices are high, cocktails can be ordered from 150 HKD. On a clear day you can enjoy a spectacular view of Hong Kong. Waiting times are to be expected on weekends. Attention is paid to a neat wardrobe, shorts are not welcome. In addition, closed parties (private function) often take place here, which are already posted in the elevator lobby on the 9th floor. A table requires HK$1000 minimum consumption. Take the elevator from the lobby to the Ritz-Carlton's reception on the 103rd floor and transfer to the elevator marked "Ozone" to the right of the elevators to the hotel rooms.

gay & bi
Sauna Alexander, 404 Reclamation Street, Mong Kok (MTR Mong Kok, Exit E1, next to Langham Place Hotel). A rainbow flag hangs in the entrance area to the street.



In the upper segment, the traveler will find a very large selection. Hotel rooms are more expensive in Hong Kong than in Europe, but then mostly smaller.

For travelers with a smaller budget, the so-called Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui (MRT Tsim Sha Tsui, exit D1 or N2) are ideal. This is a complex of five high-rise buildings housing dozens of budget hostels and smaller shops and eateries on the lower two levels. The rooms are mostly quite clean and very cheap. Usually three to four windowless square meters are available to the tourist, plus a shower with toilet, AC and TV. An experience report from the Chungking Mansions from 2013 shows that first impressions can be deceiving. Fair prices start (Oct 2016) around HK$130, negotiable vs. the prices asked (seasonal -30-40%).



Traditional Chinese holidays in particular are not calculated according to the Gregorian calendar but according to a lunissolar calendar - this is a calendar that depends on both solar and lunar cycles. The Chinese year consists of 12 months of 29 or 30 days. A leap month is added every three years. The implication is that holidays of this system fall on different days each year because they are tied to a specific day of a lunar cycle, e.g. B. Chinese New Year falls on the first new moon between January 21st and February 21st. Apart from the Chinese New Year, many shops and restaurants are open on the holidays, offices are mostly closed. If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is a work-free day.

January 1 New Year
In addition to the Chinese New Year, the first day of the Gregorian calendar year is also a public holiday.

between January 21st and February 21st Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year festival lasts three days and takes place on the first new moon between January 21st and February 21st. The Chinese New Year is the most important holiday of the year and is comparable to Christmas in Germany. Many restaurants and shops are closed. On the second day, the New Year's parade takes place, and in the evening there are fireworks. The festival is high season in Hong Kong and hotels should be booked earlier than usual.

or April 5 Ching Ming Festival
The ancestors are remembered and sacrifices are made at the graves.

23rd day of the third moon Tin house birthday
The birthday of Princess Tin Hau is celebrated, who is the patron saint of all fishermen and sailors and has a correspondingly high status. The biggest celebrations take place at the Tin Hau Temple on Clearwater Bay. Besides sacrifices, lion dances are also performed throughout the day. Special ferries operate from North Point throughout the day.

8th day of the fourth moon Buddha's birthday
On the 8th day of the fourth moon, Buddha's birthday is celebrated and in all Buddha temples the Buddha images are ritually washed by the devotees sprinkling water on them.

5th Lunar Month Buns Festival (Cheung Chau)
The Buns Festival honoring the Northern Emperor is held on Cheung Chau Island in the fifth lunar month. Buns (a kind of roll) are hung on three towers, each approx. 20 meters high. On the final night, the towers are climbed by locals as the buns promise good luck. Priests also distribute buns. Since an accident in 1978 in which 100 people were injured, the towers were climbed for the first time in 2005, subject to strict safety requirements. The next morning there is a procession in which children are specially dressed and carried. Overall, there is a folk festival character. Special ferries return to Hong Kong Island all night. A model of the Buns Towers is on display at the History Museum.

5th day of the 5th lunar month Dragon Boat Festival
In the months leading up to the actual festival on the 5th day of the fifth lunar month, paddling teams can be seen training on many Hong Kong beaches. The festival commemorates the poet Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in a river. To keep the fish from eating his body, people would go out on the river and beat the drums. In addition, they threw bamboo-wrapped rice into water for fish to eat instead. Today this bamboo rice is the traditional food of the festival. The races take place at various locations in Hong Kong: on Hong Kong Island, in Aberdeen and Stanley, on Lan Tau in Mui Wo and Pui O Beach in the New Territories in Sai Kung, Sha Tin, Tai Po and Tuen Muen. In Sha Tin, the races take place on a river. Standley is the most popular race among expats and has a large number of company boats. The announcements here are in English. The International Dragon Boat Race takes place a week after the local races. In the past, the venue was Sha Tin. In 2005 the race took place for the first time in Tsim Sha Tsui East (Kowloon).

1 July Foundation Day of Hong Kong SAR
July 1st commemorates Hong Kong's return to China in 1997.

3rd Monday of August Liberation Day

15th day of the 8th lunar month Mid-Autumn Festival
On the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, takes place. The focus is on the moon, countless lanterns are lit and mooncakes are eaten. In the evening, fire dragons consisting of glowing incense sticks process in Wun Sha Street.

9th Day of the 9th Lunar Month Double Ninth (Chung Yeung Festival)
Takes place on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. Similar to the Ching Ming Festival, ancestors are commemorated and offerings are made at their graves.



Hong Kong is a relatively safe big city. Crime exists, but luggage and wallets are more at risk than life and limb. At the airport and in the crowds, one should not lose sight of luggage and valuables. A money belt or neck pouch can prevent pickpocketing. Caution is also advised in dormitories in youth hostels. Hong Kong is also unproblematic and safe for women traveling alone. The emergency number is 999.



Aside from the Chungking Mansions and other very cheap accommodations, Hong Kong has western standards throughout with high hygiene and health standards. Vaccinations are not mandatory for Hong Kong. The addresses of German-speaking doctors can be obtained from the consulates. Tap water can be drunk, but it doesn't really taste good due to the high chlorine content. You can buy still water very cheaply in the supermarket or there are 0.5 l bottles from free-standing machines in MRT and shopping centers for 5.50 HKD ≈ 0.50 €. In the summer heat, you should definitely drink enough water and stay in the shade more often.


Practical advice

(prices Oct. 2016)

International dialing code for HK: +852...

SIM cards
Various prepaid SIM cards are available from 7-11, including the airport branch. All company top-ups are available at the numerous convenience stores at the tills, a minimum of HK$50 is common. With some tariffs, local calls from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. are significantly more expensive. With most operators, the called party also pays the local price per minute! Cards expire 180 days after the last top-up.

The Discover Hong Kong Tourist SIM Card is offered by the Tourist Office in conjunction with the provider PCCW/csl. They are available for 5 (HK$88) or 8 days (HK$118). During this time, local calls are free, plus 1.5Gb of data through the PCCW hotspots known to be slow, plus HK$25 credit for international calls. The cards can be extended by up to 180 days by topping them up and can also be used in Taiwan, Macao and Shenzen at the comparatively high daily rate of HK$ 40. The disadvantage is that the number received is lost forever after it expires.
The One2Free Power Prepaid SIM from csl is interesting for customers who want to make calls in the nearer Asian region and North America. Local calls cost HK$0.25/min, SMS to csl network HK$0.10 other networks HK$0.70; International calls to certain countries are free. Data volume must be booked (hotspot overview).
China Mobile 4G/3G Data & Voice Prepaid SIM Card: $HK$80, local calls HK$0.10, Internet “3G lite” (max 384k/s) HK$30 for 10 days.
The China Unicom Cross Border King for HK$120 comes with two numbers, one for HK, the other for China (area code +86...). Calls cost HK$0.45/min, data expensive HK$35 for 100Mb.
With the 3 Hong Kong 3G Super Value Monthly Fee Rechargeable SIM Card for HK$ 98, you can book HK$ 68,680 free minutes per month, otherwise local calls cost HK$ 0.3.

State-owned Hong Kong Post (Rate Chart) charges HK$2.30 for aerograms; Airmail letters (up to 20g) to Western Europe (Zone 2) HK$3.70, large formats HK$3.80, each 10g more HK$1.60. Registered mail HK$15.50 extra.

General Post Office, Hong Kong, Central, 康樂廣場2號 (2 Connaught Pl.). In the basement with a small museum and philatelist counter. Open: 8am-6pm (Sun. + Holidays 9am-5pm).
Kowloon Central Post Office, 405 Nathan Rd, Yau Ma Tei. Open: Mon.-Fri. 9.30 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sat. until 1.30 p.m.

The electrical voltage in Hong Kong is 220 V at 50 Hz, which roughly corresponds to the German system. However, the sockets are of type G (have three holes) and an appropriate adapter is required. These are already available for less than HKD 10 at many market stalls or in the pricerite chain of electronics shops. Many accommodations already provide adapters in their rooms.

Laundromats with vending machines are not common in Hong Kong like e.g. Instead, there are relatively cheap laundries in most residential areas, for example on Staunton Street in Soho. Normal laundry is washed by weight, the basic price is around 30 HKD and allows around 3.5 kg of laundry. The laundry can be picked up after a few hours of drying.

Public toilets
Public toilets can be found in many places in Hong Kong, e.g. B. in parks or on busy routes, and especially in the large shopping centers. Both the equipment and the hygienic conditions vary considerably. While the toilets located in public spaces are usually about the same level as a corresponding facility in German motorway parking lots and are therefore usually classified at the lower end of the scale in terms of hygiene, most washrooms in large shopping centers are cleaned practically continuously (sometimes even after each visitor) cleaned and, in addition to impeccable cleanliness, sometimes offer amazing design qualities (in particular the toilets in the IFC Mall are very modern and sometimes even have a shoe shine machine). For this reason, the toilets in the shopping centers should always be preferred. the toilets of the relevant fast food chains are often not in the best condition. The standing toilets, which Europeans take a lot of getting used to (which are more reminiscent of a shower tray with integrated platforms for putting your feet down), are usually only found in public washrooms (e.g. on the beaches). However, as in the shopping centers, there is usually at least one toilet of European standards.

The Consulate General of the Republic of Austria (Central). Phone: +852 2522 80 86, Fax: +852 2521 87 73, Email: hongkong-gk@bmeia.gv.at.
Swiss Consulate General, Suite 6206-07, Central Plaza, 18 Harbor Road (Wan Chai). Tel.: +852 2522 7174, fax: +852 2845 2619, e-mail: hon.vertretung@eda.admin.ch.
Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, United Centre, 21st floor, 95 Queensway-Central. Tel: +852 21 05 87 77, Fax: +852 28 65 20 33, Email: germancg@netvigator.com.

The official languages are Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Cantonese is a southern Chinese dialect very different from Mandarin. Even in the days of the British Crown Colony, the proportion of English-speaking residents was surprisingly low. Outside of the tourist hubs in Tsim Sha Tsui or Central Hong Kong Island, communicating with the locals can be difficult. You may have to get out of a taxi after realizing that the driver doesn't know the English names of Hong Kong neighborhoods. Nevertheless, Hong Kong is certainly one of the easier cities in East Asia to travel to when it comes to communication.

Since the return of Hong Kong, the English language has continued to decline. The reason for this is the abolition of compulsory English lessons in schools and the exodus of industry to mainland China. In addition, Mandarin is heavily promoted by the Chinese administration, although only a small percentage of Hong Kong Chinese speak Mandarin as their first language. For example, MTR announcements are now first made in Mandarin. In the long term, Mandarin will probably establish itself as a second foreign language alongside English at its expense.

Street signs, public announcements, some TV programs, etc. are almost entirely bilingual. However, many small restaurants outside of the tourist centers only have Chinese menus.



Geographical location

Hong Kong is located at the mouth of the Pearl River in the South China Sea. The territory of Hong Kong extends over a very irregularly shaped peninsula, as well as 263 islands, the main of which are Lantau Island (147.2 km²), Hong Kong Island (78.6 km²), Chek Lap Kok (14.6 km²), Lamma Island (13.9 km²), Tsing Yi (10.7 km²), Cheung Chau (2.4 km²) and Peng Chau (1.2 km²) are. The territory is divided into Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories and the Outlying Islands.

About 25% of the 1113 km² land area is built up. A significant portion of the built-up area was created through land reclamation in Victoria Harbor and the New Territories. This has added 68 km² of land area since 1887. This is mainly due to the very mountainous relief with many steep slopes; only in the north of the New Territories are there larger plains. The highest elevation is the Tai Mo Shan in the New Territories at 958 m. The better known is the Victoria Peak, at 552 m the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island and a popular destination. The 495 m high Lion Rock on the border between Kowloon and New Territories is considered one of the most striking natural monuments and Hong Kong's local mountain.



Population structure and numbers

The inhabitable territory of Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world after Monaco with around 16,000 inhabitants per km², with the population density of the entire territory being around 6,900 inhabitants per km².

The population has roughly quadrupled in the past seven decades (from 1.7 million in 1945 to over 7.442 million in 2016) and has increased a thousandfold in 160 years (from 7,500 in 1841). The number of children per woman is 1.19, the second lowest worldwide, ahead of Macau. Population growth has been declining sharply for the past 20 years: in 1996 it was 4.54 percent and fell to 0.56 percent in 2016.

The average life expectancy in the period from 2010 to 2015 was 83.4 years (men: 80.3, women: 86.3), making it one of the highest in the world.

The immigration rate is declining: according to estimates, 7.76 immigrants immigrated per 1,000 inhabitants in 2002, in 2016 it was 2.14. Around 95 percent of the population are Han Chinese. Over 500,000 foreigners live in Hong Kong. Most come from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Pakistan. The foreigners from the Philippines and Indonesia are overwhelmingly women who mostly work as domestic help.

Despite the high population density, Hong Kong is one of the greenest metropolitan areas in Asia, which in turn is due to the area's mountainous topography. A large part of the area is so mountainous and steep that it cannot be built on and is therefore overgrown with trees and bushes. The majority of the inhabitants live in mostly very small apartments in high-rise buildings and skyscrapers; Detached houses are expensive and are very rarely built because of the mountainous conditions and also for nature conservation reasons, since about 40% of Hong Kong's land area is designated as nature parks.



The two official languages of Hong Kong are English and Chinese, although Chinese is not defined in the relevant Article 9 of Chapter I of the Basic Law. The Cantonese language, which is predominant in Hong Kong, and Standard Chinese, also known as Standard Chinese, are thus officially regarded as one language with two variants, both of which are to be regarded as an official language of Hong Kong. Both variants of Chinese are written in the Chinese script. In Hong Kong, however, as in Macau and in contrast to other parts of the People's Republic, traditional long characters are used.

There are also characters that are used exclusively in Hong Kong, which the Hong Kong government has compiled and regularly updates in the so-called Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set, abbreviation HKSCS. Hong Kong Cantonese differs from Guangdong Cantonese in that, in addition to a large number of Anglicisms, there is often a language switch between English and Chinese colloquially. English is widely understood. For historical reasons, English is not widely spoken among the older population.

Standard Chinese is becoming more and more popular as it becomes more integrated with the mainland. Next to English, Japanese is the second most popular foreign language in Hong Kong. On the other hand, French, Spanish, German or other European languages have very little popularity among the general population.



Almost every religion is practiced in Hong Kong. Due to its British colonial history as a hub in Southeast Asia and a gateway to China, people from different parts of the world and different faiths who settled in Hong Kong have built their temples and places of worship here. In the Chinese population, the Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist world views dominate; more than 10% of the residents (mostly ethnic Chinese) are Christians, including about 540,000 Catholics, of which 360,000 are Catholic Chinese. Accordingly, there is also a large number of religious sites of different worldviews.

The most important Buddhist temple in Hong Kong is the Temple of the Ten Thousand Buddhas (萬佛寺, Wànfó Sì, Jyutping Maan6fat6 Zi6*2) in Sha Tin, which is located on a hill. The walls of this temple are adorned with about 12,800 Buddhas donated by devotees in the city and abroad, and twelve craftsmen worked on them for ten years. On Lantau Island is the Buddhist Po Lin Monastery with the Tian Tan Buddha, one of the world's largest seated Buddha images on the globe. Ling To Monastery is one of the three most important Buddhist monasteries in Hong Kong.

Also of interest are the numerous small temples wedged between the skyscrapers in Central and Kowloon, such as the largest Man Mo Temple – Wenwu Temple in Standard Chinese – (文武廟 in Hong Kong, Dedicated to the Taoist gods of literature and martial arts, it is located in one of the island's most traditional Sheung Wan neighborhoods at 124-126 Hollywood Road. This temple is ugsl among Hong Kong local people. also known as "Man Mo Temple of the Tung Wah Hospital Groups" - 東華三院文武廟 - as the temple administration is run by this charitable organization. Usually, most of the temples in Hong Kong are organized under the umbrella organization of the "Chinese Temples Committee" (華人廟宇委員會, Chinese Temples Committee).

One of the more than 102 mostly small tin hau temples (天后廟, Tiānhòu Miào, Jyutping Tin1hau6 Miu) that can be found in various parts of Hong Kong is located near Market Street in the Yaumatei district in north-western Kowloon dedicated to the Taoist tutelary goddess Tinhau, pronounced Tianhou in High Chinese, who is particularly popular with seafarers and fishermen as a patron saint, whereas the huge Wong Tai Sin Temple, located a little north of Mongkok, is Hong Kong's most visited temple because of its wondrous healing powers and divinations is. The four most famous Taoist temples in Hong Kong include the Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan (Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong Island), the Wong Tai Sin Temple in Kowloon and the oldest Tin Tau Temple in Hong Kong in Sai Kung (佛堂門天后古廟, Joss House Bay Tin Hau Temple) and the Che Kung Temple in Sha Tin (車公廟, Che Kung Temple).

Hong Kong's most important mosque, the Kowloon Mosque and Islamic Centre, is located on Nathan Road in Kowloon, right at the southern end of Kowloon Park, while St John's Cathedral, Hong Kong's largest Anglican church, is located in the Central District; it was built in 1849 and now sits amid trees in the shadow of the Bank of China Tower. Unlike the mainland, Christian religious communities are not organized in a Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.